Drama Review: Mindgame

first_imgby Sophie DuncanMost of us know the disappointment and irritation felt, when, approaching the final page of a mystery novel, the author produces a deus ex machina which solves the crime and undercuts all our literary sleuthing. The butler who has an identical twin: the housemaid having run off to join her husband whose existence was hitherto unsuspected. The plot twists of Rhys Jones’s latest production are rather more complex, but the eventual disappointment is the same. By the final scene of Anthony Horowitz’s Mindgame, each of the characters is revealed to be something other than what they seem. Herein lies the problem: is the revelation that the characters themselves are “acting” -just as much as the actors themselves– worth two hours of previously unconvincing performances?This is not to say that Mindgame is without its highlights: there are two standout performances, in Tom Richards and Joseph Thomas. Unfortunately, both double the same role – another complexity of Jones’s production is its rolling cast. Sadly, the usual pitfalls of uneven ability haven’t been avoided: delicacy prevents me from telling you on what nights to see the play, but certain audiences will fair far better than others. Richards, unnerving audiences with his dead eyes and whitewashed face, brings a patrician impassiveness to Dr Farquhar that quickly turns to a nightmare. Thomas, meanwhile, is a sad-eyed Crippen in the same role, pinched and melancholy, feeble and frightening. Mindgame mixes the Gothic and the farcical: both actors hit the mark precisely, but in fascinatingly different ways. Their opposite numbers, Stewart Pringle and Rob Hemmens, are uneven as true crime novelist Styler. Hemmens is unconvincing, substituting breathlessness for fear at what should be moments of terror. Pringle is rather better, spiky unpredictability suggesting what is to come. Neither, however, makes good use of the dialogue: Hemmens in particular holds an emotional monotone, with darkest revelations in the same register as casual observation. Admittedly, some lines are simply dreadful (I’m not surprised that this is Horowitz’s only play): revelatory moments are reduced to melodrama, but without melodrama’s intensity. Then again, this could be intentional: after all, most character identities in Mindgame collapse not once, but twice. What, then – aside from Richards and Thomas – can recommend this production? One answer is the set. The company boasts several magicians (including Jones himself) and the complex set promises a feast of misdirection, surrealism and sleight of hand. This attention to design is half the story of Mindgame, the set disintegrating and warping with the perceptions of Styler. For all my reservations, this is one aspect of the show I absolutely loved. Successful and original design is a rarity in Oxford, and I would be delighted to see Jones further hone his talents in this field. This psychological thriller is “not a whodunnit, but a whydunnit” and if “whydunnit?” was a question I occasionally wanted to ask the director, Richards and Thomas nonetheless provide chills and thrills in the central role. My only regret is that Jones was unable to fulfil his original desire of having every actor play every part: that way, Mindgame would have been a much better show.Dir. Rhys JonesOFS 7.30 Tues-Sat 2.30pm Sat6th Weeklast_img read more

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IS IT TRUE OCTOBER 19, 2017

first_imgWe hope that todays “IS IT TRUE” will provoke “…honest and open dialogue concerning issues that we, as responsible citizens of this community, need to address in a rational and responsible way?”IS IT TRUE that the truth is finally being leaked out by the powers that be about just how expensive it is about to be to live in Evansville, Indiana?…an official for the Evansville Water and Sewer Utility actually admitted that a customer will be paying about $300 more in 2017 that they did in 2016 for the exact same service?…that corresponds to a 26% price increase in a single year and another 16% increase is coming next year?…water rate increases are on tap for 2019, 2020, and 2021 as well which will have Evansville well on the way to having the highest water bills with respect to the average wage in the United States?…the necessary action of replacing some of the 600 miles of decrepit water pipes that are made of cast iron and are over 90 years old is what makes these exorbitant price increases necessary?IS IT TRUE that this is not as a result of fixing the BILLION DOLLAR SEWER problems?…this is just about replacing pipes that should have been replaced when the baby boomers were teenagers?…by the time the BILLION DOLLAR SEWER issues are all corrected the average water and sewer bill in Evansville will land somewhere north of $250 per month?…coupling that with Vectren bills that are the highest in the state with respect to the average wage, any money that may be saved by having affordable housing will be eaten up by the cost of utilities?…that when the utility bills for a modest home average $1,000 per month that is about what it cost to make a payment on a $250,000 house?…between these highly inflated utility bills and the runaway costs of health insurance and deductibles which now averages over $20,000 per year for a family of four that doesn’t get a subsidy, economic life in Evansville, Indiana, USA is getting out of hand?IS IT TRUE that all of these runaway costs are a direct result of decades of elected officials failing to provide adequate stewardship over the infrastructure of Vanderburgh County and the City of Evansville?…we take this opportunity to remind you that the taxpayers of Vanderburgh County will be hit with a 20% increase in local income taxes to go along with that 26% increase in water and sewer bills, and another Vectren rate increase?…this all happened in a year that the average wage increase is closer to 2.5%?…as a late great professor from the University of Evansville once said, “come the revolution all of this $%#!  will cease?”…the obsession with fun and games is what has led the sheep to this unsustainable abyss?IS IT TRUE we are hearing that the unnamed Evansville City Council member who requested that the Evansville City Controller, Russ Lloyd Jr provide him with an accounting  breakdown of Invoices and Unrecorded Liabilities for 2015, 2016 and 2017 is really causing the Winnecke administration a great deal of stress?  …the unnamed Evansville City Council member requested information that had to do with: 1) Account Payable Open Items Reports for 2015-2017. 2) Accrued Compensation Hours for Police and Fire Employees as of Aug 16-18, 2017. 3) Accounting Notes reports for 12/31/2016 and for the City of Evansville and other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) as prescribed by GASB 45 actuarial calculation of retired employees health insurance liability. 4) Also provided to city officials were the accounting notes for the City of Evansville concerning the (PERF) Public Employees Retirement Fund of which Evansville participates in?  …we are told that the unnamed City Council member is thinking about giving copies of these reports to the general public?IS IT TRUE  that the highly respected fiscal conservative Richard Clements is now the Vice President of Commercial Lending for the Evansville State Bank?  …if Vanderburh County  GOP chairman Wayne Parke would had supported Mr. Clements for the Evansville City Council he won’t be having the problem with the “Tax and Spend” City Councilman Dan McGinn (I)?  …in case you may have forgotten Mr. Clements was a key player in helping to defeat the City/County consolidation effort?IS IT TRUE Channel 25 News reported during their 10:00 P M news cast last night that 1st Ward Evansville City Councilman Dan McGinn resigned from the local Republican party?  …they also did a quick interview with local GOP Chairman Wayne Parke concerning this issue?  …we would like to respectfully point out to the people at Channel 25 News department that this subject was reported in the City County Observer on October 14, 2017?IS IT TRUE we are told if Mayor Winnecke isn’t happy with the way that local GOP Chairman Wayne Parke has handled the Dan McGiin issue he has no authority to replace Mr. Parke as Chairman?IS IT TRUE we would like to thank Vanderburgh Chief Deputy County Prosecuting Attorney Gary James Schutte II for doing one heck of a job for the citizens of Vanderburgh County?  …Vanderburgh County Prosecuting Attorney Nick Hermann should be very thankful that Mr. Schutte is around to watch his blind side?IS IT TRUE since the son of the former United States Congressman John Hostettler, Matt Hosettler announced that he shall be running for to soon to be vacated State House of Representative seat presently held by Thomas Washburne his campaign has really begun to take off?  …its now obvious that the President of the Vanderburgh County Commission, Bruce Ungethiem is now facing the biggest challenge in his political career when he takes on Matt Hostetter in the District 64 State Representative Republican primary?IS IT TRUE that the Vanderburgh County Council passed a “Wheel Tax” by a 5-2 vote? … that many area conservatives now considered them to be “Tax And Spend” liberal?  …Democrats Mike Goebel and Stephanie Terry voted against the tax increase?  …we thought that Democrats were considered to be “Tax And Spend” liberals?Todays READERS POLL question is: Do you feel that the taxpayers of Vanderburgh County are finally getting tired of the “Tax And Spend” attitude of our local elected officials?Please take time and read our newest feature articles entitled “LAW ENFORCEMENT, READERS POLL, BIRTHDAYS, HOT JOBS” and “LOCAL SPORTS” posted in our sections.  You now are able to subscribe to get the CCO daily.If you would like to advertise in the CCO please contact us City-County [email protected]’S FOOTNOTE:  Any comments posted in this column do not represent the views or opinions of the City County Observer or our advertisersFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

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